Rare Rides: The Extremely Valuable 1967 Toyota 2000GT
The Toyota 2000GT’s been a legend for decades now. A simple mention of its name conjures up the correct silhouette. Eyes glaze over at the gentle curves, classic sports coupe proportions, and the big front lamps trapped behind plexiglass.
Today we’ll dig a little deeper into this legend.
Toyota needed a bit of help when it came to sports cars, as the company had a singular such vehicle under its belt: the microscopic 800 Sports Coupe. Keeping its first-ever sports car in mind, Toyota wondered how it might do something more. At this point Nissan enters, stage left.
Nissan hired Yamaha to take the lead on a new sports car design. The two companies had worked together before, and in those days Yamaha made a business out of making designs for other Japanese manufacturers. Nissan’s request? A 2000GT. Yamaha got to work and built a prototype. The forward-thinking brass at Nissan declined the design, preferring to move on to other ideas. Left with the unsold prototype, Yamaha approached the conservative suits at Toyota.
“No, but that’s an interesting idea,” they said. With that, Toyota accepted the 2000GT proposal in an attempt to shake off the company’s stodgy image. With the original Nissan 2000GT prototype junked, design work started anew, this time lead by Toyota. Satoru Nozaki penned the new shape of the 2000GT, and the rest of the project proceeded jointly at Yamaha and Toyota.
A show car debuted at the 1965 Tokyo Motor Show, entering production at the Yamaha factory in 1967. The sleek coupe had pop-up headlights in addition to the large driving lamps, almost no bumpers, and sat at under 46 inches in total height. Aiming for European competition like Porsche, Toyota didn’t skimp on the interior. A comfortable place, there was a rosewood dash, a fancy radio, and nice seats. Very late-run models had a slightly revised interior, with air conditioning and an optional automatic transmission.
The majority of models came fitted with a 2.0-liter inline-six from the Toyota Crown, massaged by Yamaha. The company attached a couple of new Mikuni-Solex two-barrel carbs, plus a new dual overhead cam. 148 horsepower traveled to the rear via a five-speed manual. A special run of nine cars coded “MF-12” had a larger 2.3-liter engine with a lower output. Also derived from the Crown, it used a single overhead cam and produced around 115 horsepower. Top speed was 135 miles an hour in the more powerful version.
Always intended as a limited-run vehicle, the 2000GT’s production lasted for three years, during which just 351 examples were produced. In 1967 it asked $6,800 in the U.S., or around $53,300 today. Around 60 were sold in North America, and as a halo model Toyota lost money on each one.
Today’s Rare Ride was formerly owned by racing driver Otto Linton, and restored to original condition in Maine. It goes on sale May 1, 2020 as part of the Elkhart Collection. 2000GTs usually go for over $1 million.
(H/t to commenter FreedMike for pointing out this Rare Ride.)
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- Tassos If you only changed your series to the CORRECT "Possibly Collectible, NOT Daily Driver, NOT Used car of the day", it would sound much more accurate AND TRUTHFUL.Now who would collect THIS heap of trash for whatever misguided reason, nostalgia for a much worse automotive era or whatever, is another question.
- ToolGuy Price dropped $500 overnight. (Wait 10 more days and you might get it for free?)
- Slavuta Must be all planned. Increase price of cars, urbanize, 15 minutes cities. Be poor, eat bugs
- Sid SB Not seen a Core without the performance pack yet. Prefer the more understated look of the Core vs the Circuit, but both are great fun to drive.
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